Why are we focusing on Elizabeth Short, commonly known as The Black Dahlia this week? Would not one of Hollywood’s most famous murder victims be a better pick for, say, Halloween?
Well, I was actually planning to do Empress Sisi – who had a really disordered relationship with food, and exercise, and probably body dysmorphic disorder, and who is just generally interesting – but then I went to England. You know how it is. Your friend wants to go on some Jack The Ripper tour (despite the fact that it costs $40 each way to Whitechapel, British cab prices are insane, my Lord) and you find yourself muttering “they call these murders? Elizabeth Short. There was a murder.”
I don’t know why I felt the need to marginalize the deaths of innocent women. Because England makes me monstrous? I think it’s the British food. The sugar in millionaire’s shortbread brings out the elitist in all of us.
Suffice to say, the USA has the best murders. Team USA!
But really, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a stranger and more interesting case than the Black Dahlia murder. You probably already know about her. Either you’ve read the – perhaps a bit overblown – crime novel The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy, or you’ve seen some of her depictions onscreen. Mena Suvari played Short as naive, vulnerable and murdered by a drug addled ghost in American Horror Story:
While Mia Kirshner played her as more of a troubled seductress not murdered by a ghost in The Black Dahlia: